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M. O'Brien answers that age old question, "What price beauty?"
A Cure for the Uglies
If you were me, youíd do the same.† You would, no question.
Anyway, I didnít ask for this.† They came to me.† They told me they first used the international driverís license photo database, which is stupid anyway, because everyone looks bad in those.† But they chose me.† They ran all the license photos through some computer program in order to find the group.† Well, that was only for the first cut.
Thatís when I got the letter.† How long ago was it?† About two years ago, maybe?† Give or take a month or two.† It didnít say what it was really for, only that I had the ďperfect qualificationsĒ for this highly specialized medical trial.† All expenses paid, and if I signed on, a six figure salary for as long as I stayed in the trial.† First class tickets to Phoenix, Arizona.† Posh hotel accommodations.† So I showed up at this ďCelePutty, IncorporatedĒ facility, just to check it out.
It was better than my dead-end janitorial job, so I figured if I could get in, Iíd be made. †As long as I didnít end up with some horrible, disabling disease.† It had to be better than scrubbing animal crap out of cages in the Bronx Zoo.
I should have guessed from the look of the preliminary test group, but what did I know?† They didnít tell us what they wanted us for yet.† They just measured everyone from head to toe, took a lot of fluids, and tissue samples.† The oddest thing was the ďmixer.Ē† This party the CelePutty human resources staff put together; a party populated with the homeliest people youíve ever laid eyes on smacked up right next to the most beautiful people youíve ever seen.† Lots of the pretty ones were big celebrities too.
I made it through the first, second and third cuts.† There were only six of us left at the start of the first trial.† Three men and three women.† They had another really big party and congratulated us for being, statistically speaking, ďthe ugliest people on the planet.Ē† I laugh about it now, but I was so offended that night!† We all were!† You donít want to hear it said straight in your face.† All of us suspected as much, but they made it crystal clear that night that we were there because we were ugly.† I almost quit the trial that night.† One of the women did.† I didnít though.
They explained the basics, after we signed another new stack of confidentiality statements.† CelePutty had a way of altering your genes, with these weird gene implants.† They were designed to be feature specific and all cloned from the parade of pretty people that frequented the facility.† Somehow their genes were recombined with ours so that they would splice themselves into our DNA, and turn themselves on while turning off our own DNA for the same feature.
They started with my nose because I had the biggest honker of the group.† Gave me a perfect Leyendecker profile.† It was only one injection.† Like a flu shot.† ďA vaccination against the ugliesĒ is what the nurse said, like it was a joke.† The whole process took a few weeks, and my nose felt numb and tingly for a month or two beyond that, but it didnít hurt at all.
The world smelled different after that, though.† Not as sweet, or strong.† Some stuff smelled bad to me that didnít ever bother me before.† I remembered that quote Ė a rose by any other name would smell as sweet Ė but I can tell you for a fact, a rose through any other nose might not.
Food tasted different too.† I remember arguing with myself about it because I had always liked shellfish, but then I didnít anymore, you know?† Had it always smelled so foul to me and wasnít remembering correctly?† It was confusing.† I didnít say anything to the doctors though, because I liked the way the new nose looked.
Jeanne, one of the women in the trial, got herself some tits.† Nice big, firm ones, and real ones, not that fake sack of goop under her skin stuff.† She was so thrilled about it, she showed them to me; let me touch them.† I liked that.† I liked it at the time, I mean, but it seems less interesting to me now.
You should see Jeanne today.† Sheís nine inches taller, wavy blonde hair, powder blue eyes, straight ivory white teeth, skin like butter.† If youíd seen her at the start, good God!† She was a bridge troll.† Sheís gorgeous now.† Youíd think sheíd be happy, but even though she smiles a lot, I could tell that something was bothering her.
Thatís when she told me about her headaches.† She laughed them off, but I could see in her eyes that the truth wasnít so funny.† I didnít tell her I had them too.† But, mine are not really headaches, not pain.† Itís more confusion, frustration, like arguments in my own head that never resolve.† Each time I got a new alteration along with it came new conflicts, new confusions; like my past memories and experiences werenít linking up anymore.† The headache pain was only from the fatigue of my mind trying to make sense of things that didnít make any sense anymore.
I got a new jaw line, ears, abs, legs, hair, and dick.† Yessir, they gave me a salami.† Some porno star made a ďmajor contribution,Ē thatís what the nurse said when she gave me that shot.† Ha ha.† I guess the docs here thought they should go for the gusto.† Itís about ten inches, soft.† And itís rarely soft, which took a bit of getting used to.† I asked Jeanne if she wanted to touch it, you know Ė return the favor, so to speak, but she just laughed and blushed.
It sounds like every manís dream come true, but itís taken some getting used to, believe me, especially when I get hard around guys sometimes now.† I never did that before.† It freaked me out the first time.† I never thought about gay sex at all, never even crossed my mind, still donít, but well, I guess my new dick has different ideas.† Itís not such a big deal.† Donít get me wrong, I still like women, I mean, I do, Iím just saying - what difference does it make anyway when youíre good looking?† Everybody thinks youíre hot and wants you.† That kind of stuff is new to me and I like it.
And I am hot.† I look like a movie star.† Thatís what the Aestheticians tell me.† Iím a ninety-eight percenter, and by the time Iím done, they think Iíll be their first one hundred.† Pretty good for starting off in the single digits.† Thatís why I donít say anything to the doctors.† Not a word.† I donít tell them Iím confused sometimes, or that stuff sounds different or tastes different, or feels different, or that my memories of things, the actual physical experiences of them, are all a confused muddle.† Itís like Iím in a big plastic bag or bubble, and there are holes in it.† Things only get in through the holes.† Sometimes I feel like Iím about to smother inside myself.
Another really weird thing happened.† It scared me.† After I got the abs, I found myself exercising one morning.† I never exercised in my life before, or at least I donít think I had, but I truly donít know anymore.†† I feel like a part of me did, and I certainly do look like I did.† So anyway, I suddenly realized I was on the floor of my bedroom doing crunches, even though I donít remember ever deciding to do them.† It was odd and disconnected; but it didnít hurt anything.† I know this sounds like nonsense, but these genes they put in us, itís almost like they still have memories of their own.† Or needs of their own?† Which is crazy talk, I know.† But the new stuff connects into my nerves and my brain, right?† Maybe when it does, the new stuff connects a little different than my old stuff did?† It requires similar, but different responses?† I donít know.† I havenít said anything to the doctors about the confusion.† Hell, they might throw me out of the trial, and there goes the money and the looks and everything that goes with it.
My new eyes are almost in.† Theyíre my last implant, then Iím finished, as far as the study is concerned.† Perfect clear blue ones with 20/15.† I was able to stop wearing my coke bottles last Friday.† Theyíre set wider apart than my old eyes and have larger orbs, so my socket bones ache a bit.† The weirdest part is that, before this last shot, with my own old eyes, I thought I looked pretty damned great.† Now that these eyes are coming in, even though they are great looking eyes, I donít feel I look as good anymore.† But I know I look better, in my head, you know?† More confusion.
Maybe these handsome eyes arenít as easily impressed?† Also, now when I look in the mirror, I donít see my reflection.† I see my reflection. †What I mean is, I donít see the face Iím expecting, so it feels exactly like Iím looking at someone else through a window, and Iím simply not there.† Itís eerie, like the reflection Iím seeing is mimicking me, mocking me, like a puppet I control.† At least I think I control.† And Iím seeing out, but out seems so distant.
Next week Celeputty goes public with this process.† The CEO said they have such high demand from their preorders that within five years a total of one third of the population of the world will have had at least one Celeputty implant.† And all of us in the trial get some nice, fat, stock options.
Hell, Iíll be a rich hunk!† Thatís all that matters anyway, right?